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Kathleen Meadows

Story-telling heals and inspires

October 31, 2015 | Comment icon 0 comments

Image Credit: sxc.hu
Tarot readers and psychics are talented story tellers. They tell living stories of ordinary folk within the vast realm of archetypes, sacred space, and super consciousness. Tarot readers heal, uplift, and transform human lives in the telling of their stories and have been for centuries.

3 Cornerstones of Effective Storytelling,

1. Know your audience.
2. Ensure your story has a point that is relevant to the audience or situation.
3. Communicate simply & clearly.

What Must a Great Story Include?

A good plot. “King died and then the queen died”, is not a plotted story. “King died suddenly, and the Queen soon died of grief.” The sudden death of the King, and the grief which led to the Queen’s death provides the needed plot.

An element which changes us. After hearing a good story, we feel and think differently about life. We may learn some psychological, spiritual, or healing truth that changes the way we feel and think about things which in turn will alter our behaviour in similar situations in the future.

Believable characters. Characters with depth, noble qualities and faults, which are believable, interesting, and unique. This is where Tarot readers have a terrific advantage. They are telling stories about the people who are listening to the story, and everyone’s favourite story is their own!

Change which unfolds over time. The Tarot layout provides for this in past, present and future position of most layouts.

A multitude of possibilities. A great story always involves the main character being faced with choices that will powerfully impact on their destiny.

Emotional engagement which leads to future action. People are always caught up into the drama of a great story through their emotional responses to the story.

A great story reveals the greatness of the main character. The best human stories reveal ordinary humans moved to take action which is beyond what they believed was their capacity. Noble, self-sacrificing, and heroic, ordinary human beings face enormous challenges every day of their lives, and will perform acts of such self-sacrifice that it brings tears to our eyes. This is what makes a great story. You will be sitting across from these amazing and ordinary human beings every time you do a reading. By reinforcing and encouraging human acts of self-sacrifice, generosity, and kindness in the telling of your stories, you will not only be telling great stories, you will be doing sacred work.

A story has a beginning, middle, and an end. We must see the point, a meaning that emerges from the story. Sometimes referred to as “the moral of the story”.

Collective Stories

Great stories are loaded with dark wisdom about the human condition, and the struggle with life and death.

For most of the life of humanity, the telling of stories was among the most vital activities in society. Storytelling preserved and passed along the wisdom and experience of the community long before there were alphabets or books. Stories served, too, in the initiation of the imagination; children were awakened to the truths of the heart and alerted to the traps of the trickster soul by hearing the deeply psychological stories we today call myths, legends, fairy tales, or folk tales. Stories were told and re-told, embellished and adapted by specialists who combined prodigious memory with a creative sensitivity to the fundamentals of society.

Mythic stories of ancient civilizations and tribal communities are not merely pre-scientific mumbo jumbo, rather they are ways of carrying along from day to day from generation to generation truths that are too deep and complex to be explained in the language of everyday. While hertory is the story of the ego of a civilization, myth is the story of its soul.
Archetypal Stories

Just as there are archetypal characters, there are archetypal plots that every person on the planet can relate to because they reveal patterns of psycho/spiritual development, and behaviour that are universal. A few examples of archetypal stories would be,

The Heroine/Hero’s Journey to Enlightenment: Maturity, Abundance, and Fulfillment
Wealth Won’t Make You Happy
Nothing Will Stand in the Way of True Love
The Return Home
Pride Before the Fall
Personal Sacrifice is Always Rewarded
Telling the Truth is Always the Best Policy
Hatred Hurts the Hater More than the Hated

Our mythmaking today (in urban western culture particularly) is more subtle, and more abstract. It is also more personalized, because we see ourselves now as individuals rather than as members of a community therefore some of our most important myths are the stories of our own lives.

Storytelling the Tarot

Tarot reading stories bring the art of the story into a personal and particular context. In our own society today, oracle reading serves much the same purpose it has long served in traditional cultures, offering a chance for dialogue, for sharing, for objectification, for hope and drama and revelation.

Tarot reading offers the opportunity to cultivate our natural narrative abilities and endow them with deeper resonances and broader meanings. Tarot is a means of evoking stories latent in the readers and clients’ that may well lack a conventional form but that reveal the processes of the unconscious. Archetypal words permeate the Tarot – King, Queen, Knight, Princess, sacrifice, bedevilment, risk – you elevate the client’s individual story to the realms of the archetypal world giving them a unique sense of how profound are their lives and stories.


In ancient civilizations and tribal communities the telling of myth is accompanied with great ritual (dress, fire, moon phase etc) which provided a rich source of the great classical drama. The dramatization of mythic themes occurred in the ritual initiations of mystery cults. The power of such dramas to deeply affect and even transform consciousness has been known for millennia in more recent times, it has played a rich part in the activities of esoteric groups and magical practice.

It is partly for this reason that rituals are felt by many Tarot Readers to be an important part of the reading experience. In addition to creating atmosphere, establishing connections and correspondences, and focusing concentration, rituals add a significant, unforgettable drama or theatre to the reading. Rituals are tremendously effective in bringing about a more intense kind of attention.

Rachel Pollack, “the diviner, like the magician, experiences the power of encountering the spirits through the oracle, but unless she or he tells the client something dramatic and startling, that spiritual encounter may not transfer to the other person.”

Cynthia Giles, “The dramatic quality of a Tarot event can emerge in a number of ways---through the setting of the “scene”, for example, or the pacing of the reading, or the phrasing of the story, as tone and language shift from that of ordinary discourse to that of sacred discourse.”

The sacred is the realm of myth, and descended from myth is story, which weaves together the fates of human beings with the truths of the natural world and the numinous realm. Reading the Tarot at its best can present us with an opening into the sacred. We must invite the opening, sense it, and be willing to step through.

The rituals of reading the Tarot create an opening that is subtle, more homey and domesticated but powerful nonetheless. The opening appears when we are able to see our own lives, inner and outer, our characters and our fortunes, as expressions of the numinous.

Mary Greer (Tarot Mirrors: Reflections of the Personal Meaning)
“The mirror, an ancient symbol, represents our ability to look at ourselves, to examine our lives, and to see ourselves from another perspective. Paradoxically, the mirror is also a doorway, an opening into another world in which reality offers other options. Sometimes when moving through such a mirror, the self is refracted into a spectrum of selves in which we can see many other possibilities…just by paying attention, especially with the help of a magical looking glass, you can begin to see the entire universe in your own experience.”

Tarot reading stories describe the pictures in the mirror. Whether reader or seeker, you have only to step through the mirror, into the story, and you inhabit for a while the sacred space of life imagined. The verb “to divine” does mean to produce information otherwise hidden and specifically to learn the will of the gods.

Kathleen Meadows is a Tarot Reader practicing on and offline in Canada. For more articles and videos on Tarot Reading visit her web site http://www.tarotbykathleen.ca.

If you are interested in the esoteric sciences and psychic ability development you will find the articles on my web site an interesting read. Visit my web site https://www.psychicanada.com/.

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